Broken Pipe That Started It All

This broken water pipe was discovered in the Sanitation Area, that General Services also uses.

This pipe was responsible for 70 gardeners not being able to garden and water plants.

This was discovered over a year ago. Both Carlos and Nicole were aware of its location and told gardeners it was in the process of being fixed or fixed already.

It has been over 1000 days now without water, or little water. Nothing has been fixed.

I know this, somebody broke this pipe on purpose. It was beneath concrete. A lot of force was needed to break this pipe.

Later all the hardware levers for that pipe were mysteriously removed 20 days later.

Photos were taken on 2/2/17 (with levers).

This is more than suspicious.

I understand the Sanitation department was worried about the charges for the water usage, there are better methods to address this problem than what was done.

I worry about this organization which is meant to serve the public when its employees advocate these types of behaviors and the organization is ultimately responsible.

Photos were taken on 2/22/17 (levers off)

Sanitation, general services, and the city should work together to get us water again.

There is an easy solution to either fix the broken pipe or to install a new water meter for the gardeners. With the resources of all 4 groups that use this are, this fix should be easy and fast.

 

Remove The Unqualified

The hand-off of the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens from the old pay-to-garden gardeners to the city was handled with recklessness, and now it has been over 950 days since the garden has had no water. Some do, but many don’t get water.

It has been over 2 years since the city has taken over, and still no water.

Let’s review…

The City took over about the end of 2013. They shoved this workload onto 3 city officials. The only official person I have talked to in-person was Nicole Deering, the City Manager for the San Pedro City. The other names I have heard was Jacob and another person.

Since the Gardens were not their expertise and were not trained on how to deal with a garden in transition, they simply relied on Carlos who was appointed to help out with the Garden. This is a volunteer position which the term was for 2 years before someone new was allowed to have the position.

It has been over 4 years Carlos has had this position and unfit. He actively promotes gerrymandering, he intimidates people, does not communicate to gardeners of change, he does not attend meetings, he is biased toward certain gardeners, he does not include all gardeners in meetings, he translates from Spanish to English in different words, and he simply cannot get anything accomplished. He is unfit for the job and the City of San Pedro allows an unqualified person to represent them on issues for official announcements for the Garden. This is an important role and this is who they pick. His time is up.

So, here we are with city officials who are unqualified to run a garden and they appoint an unqualified person to be their appointed spokesperson.

This is not a very good representation for Joe Buscaino since he is letting down eco-gardeners by delegating this important job to random people. You are letting down 300 or more gardeners.

I represent those who are too afraid to speak up, the old, the migrants, the people do not speak English, those who are afraid of Carlos, yes they are afraid of him, the non-tech savvy, the uninformed, those without cell phones, and those who just want to garden and not deal with politics.

The best option is to involve gardeners from San Pedro who can make a real difference. Remove all the “old” administrators and start over. Let the gardeners make the garden decisions, and the San Pedro City be our alley to navigate political nuances that they know best.

 

Separate The Garden

The garden is in a precarious position.

Currently, as it is laid out, it belongs to the city but the garden exists because the Department of Sanitation has allowed it.

There are also other players that have access to the same area which makes implementing quick changes to the gardens harder because of all the city departments involved and the wasted time finding out who is in-charge and putting in requests, to try to have a broken water pipe prepared.

  1. City Sanitation
  2. General Services
  3. Street Maintenance
  4. Mulching services
  5. Recycle center

All operate from the same general area. There is no clear divisions from what I have come to understand.

San Pedro needs to recognize the San Pedro Community Gardens as it’s own individual organization with its own self governing rules. Right now we are at the mercy of too many departments and not having water for 820 days is not a good reflection on the city of San Pedro for trying to be progressive and “green”.

Improving The Garden Rules

I posted the Official Rules of the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens as a menu item since this is what was given to me at the time of signing my contract.

It is clear these rules were created by one person at the time the garden was transitioning to the city and something was needed. As good a first attempt at creating some kind of structure, these rules are basic given the complexity of the garden.

Many old-time pay-to-garden gardeners are still here operating under their “own” system of gardening rules. The Official Rules as given to those who signed contracts around 2013-2014 had to sign this agreement. Those gardening before 2013 may never have been required to sign these rules, and so, felt it does not apply to them.

To reduce complexity and favoritism, we need to begin from the beginning. The entire Garden Rules need to be re-evaluated and then every gardener needs to re-apply for their plot and sign that they understand the terms laid out in English, Spanish, and other languages necessary for gardeners to take the Official Rules seriously.

The gardens are situated in the city of San Pedro. All gardeners who do not reside in San Pedro should pay more dues for the benefit of gardening in San Pedro.

This should to be implmented because many gardeners from other cities come to San Pedro Gardens and take up multiple plots. They get one for themselves and then one for their wife who never gardens and they end up growing trees instead of gardening, or worst just have an emty plot. This must be addressed.

San Pedro Community Gardens is for the community, we want to know our neighbors in San Pedro along with other city residents who follow the rules to get a garden here.

Gardening in San Pedro All Year Community Gardens is a privilege.

 

 

City Officials Visit The Gardens

Men in suits (or ties) were seen walking the community gardens.

I was told they were there to review the garden situation and see for themselves what is going on. Joe Buscaino was said to be there.

Let’s see if this makes any difference…

New Water Piping in Area 7

I have been informed that new water piping has recently been completed in area 7.

Not sure why area 7 piping was changed or upgraded, because area 13 and 15 have ZERO water for the last 2 years. They should be priority areas for new water piping.

Send me updated information to be posted here for all of us to be updated – here.

Will Cheat The City For Water

It has now been about 730 days without water in the San Pedro All Year Community Gardens. Yes, that is over 2 years! Can’t believe it.

The city of San Pedro has taken control of the gardens. They collect our fees and don’t do much to aid the gardeners in fighting the inequality of 67 gardeners not getting water.

If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.

The result is, the biggest offenders of water usage on the NW side has decided to cheat the city of water.

They don’t want others to use it or know about it, so it’s obviously for their gain. They are selling their fruits from their trees. This is the same group of gardeners who are part of the old regime of pay-to-gardeners.

Here is the video of how they do it as of July 31, 2017:

I confronted one of them and he said the water is not for everyone because he paid for the piping and did the work.  I’m also assuming he did not bother to ask or inform the city of their water usage plans.

How can you tell who these gardeners are? Just walk and look for the greenest gardens with trees and plants growing beautifully. Or, if the long hose pipes are out, then you can just follow those from the source to the destination gardens.

What more does the city need to remove this gardener and others like him? These 3 gardeners have to be removed and plots revoked because of this. It’s plain stealing to only benefit the 3 of them. Not to mention, this water stealing costs the city of San Pedro money.

Who Is Really In Charge?

san pedro city gardens

About 6 years ago I tried to get a garden in San Pedro All Year Community Gardens. I walked around and found some gardeners. They did not speak English, so I communicated as best as I could with them. I was told the guy would be there on Monday’s and drove a white truck – to look for him. I did, and found him.

He was a complete fraud. He wanted cash up-front and he said there was a 5 year wait to get a garden, and once again did not speak English. I felt uneasy about all of these barriers to entry.

When I refused to pay his extra demands in cash to get my name ahead of the others, he just wrote my name on a broke piece of paper and his Englished seemed to get progessively worst with me and then communication was difficult. It was obvious, there was pay-to-garden policy going on at the time and preferential treatment taking place.

This after this, this went on for 3 more years or so. The city then came in an took over. There were complaints about the garden and the city stepped in.

This was good and bad. The city became more aware of the problems. Nicole Deering, City Services Manager, was listed as the contact person for the city. She was over-whelmed with the issues and how to correct them.

Part of the reason, is there is a “board” and a person named Carlos is responsible for some issues and reporting back to Nicole Deering. This is an unoffical role, and between the 2 of them there is no accountability.  About 80% of the gardeners do not like how Carlos advocates for the gardeners. He must be completely removed as he is a remnant of the of regime of pay-to-garden. Not only that, he allows gardeners he has known for many years to break garden rules on the contract we all signed when getting a garden.

Garden meetings are never recorded and only certain people are invited. This must be changed also. All gardeners should be notified and allowed to attend. The decisions affect all gardeners and being able to take part gives gardeners a sense of belonging.

Even though the city is in charge of the gardens now, they must include the gardeners who want to improve the San Pedro Community Gardens. Otherwise, this will not work out as well as it can.

Gardeners Who Don’t Follow The Rules

san pedro gardens

Some gardeners get away with murder (figuratively).

They are some of the biggest offenders of water because of the size of their land and the number of trees they grow.

One that I know of has sugarcane, multiple over-grown avocado trees, guava trees, pomogranate trees, and who knows what other tree inside of his plot.

He also has a big shed and a bbq pit with table and chairs.

All these offenses are against the community garden rules, but for some reason he is not brought into compliance with the rules we all have to follow. The city is aware of this person and ignores him.

The main reason this is unjust and unfair to all the other gardners following the San Pedro Community garden rules is that he gets away with it. Second, is I’m sure with all the fruit and vegetables he is growing that either he is selling them for profit, or letting them fall and rot on the ground. The third, most important one, is he is the biggest user of water and he get first access to the water source first because of his garden location and water pipe location.

What does this mean? Well, he uses a lot of water which costs the city a lot of money. In a time when we are fighting the city of San Pedro to get water back on to our plots, he must be brought into compliance or his plot revoked. Otherwise, he will just continue to cost the city more money. He is just one, there are many other cases like this.

We are all affected by the drought and his offenses along with others have cost 67 gardens to not have water for almost a year. The city has told me the cost for water is “the water costs millions”. Well, I would ask him first to pay you, then turn on the water. As far a I’m concerned “millions” is an outrageous figure as stated by our City Services Manager.

It has now been about 300 days some of us gardeners have not had water. Thanks Nicole Deering and Joe Buscaino of the Harbor District Office.